The U.S. Basketball Writers Association will present the 2013 Integris Wayman Tisdale Award to Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart. The award – a statuette designed by nationally-recognized sculptor Shan Gray – will be presented to Smart at the Devon Energy College Basketball Awards on Mon., April 15 at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.
As the national freshman of the year, Smart has led the Cowboys to a 23-7 record and a No. 14 ranking in the Associated Press Top 25 entering this weekend's Big 12 Conference Tournament in Kansas City.
The April 15 gala will also honor Michigan State coach Tom Izzo as the recipient of the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award. In addition, the Oscar Robertson Trophy presented by Aflac – given to the USBWA's national player of the year – and the Henry Iba Coach of the Year Award will be presented at the banquet to be held annually the Monday following the NCAA Men's Final Four.
Smart, a 6-4, 225-pound true freshman from Flower Mound, Texas, has joined a pair of previous USBWA National Freshman of the Year Award winners – Texas' Kevin Durant (2007) and Kansas State's Michael Beasley (2008) – in an exclusive group of three players to be chosen as the Big 12 Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year in the same season. Smart was also named to the USBWA's All-District VI Team to go with selections to the All-Big 12 First Team, the Big 12 All-Defensive Team and the Big 12 All-Rookie Team.
Smart is ranked in the top 10 in the Big 12 in several categories, including scoring (15.1, 6th), assists (4.3, 6th), steals (3.0, 1st) and free-throw percentage (73.8, 5th). His 89 steals tied the conference's single-season freshman record. He also already holds the Oklahoma State school record for most assists by a freshman and his 78.3 free-throw percentage is the highest ever by a Cowboy freshman with at least 75 made free throws. Heading into the Big 12 Tournament, Smart has 24 double-figure scoring games and nine 20-point games in 30 games played, all of which he has started.
"Our team has had a great season and Marcus has been a big part of that," said Oklahoma State head coach Travis Ford. "Marcus is one of the most competitive players I've ever been around. He comes ready to play every single day.
"What makes Marcus great is he's a complete player. He's a great offensive player as well as a great defensive player. He's very unselfish and a unbelievable leader. I think he's very deserving of this award, because of how hard he works and the attitude he plays with every day.
"This is an exciting award for Marcus, because of the great player and great person that Wayman Tisdale was."
In addition to selecting Smart as the national freshman of the year, the USBWA chose four other first-year standouts for its 2013 Freshman All-America Team.
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